Whenever we’re sad or depressed, we try to find things that will make us feel better. We’re also lucky enough to be able to communicate and vent out our issues to others who care about us when we need to. The same can’t really be said for our beloved dogs if they happen to be sad, lonely, or depressed.
But they have their own way of communicating. We have to pay close attention to our dog’s behavior to figure out if something is wrong. And if you are close with your pooch, then it isn’t hard to figure if they’re feeling down.
If you happen to find your dog’s mood change for the worse, here are five ways to cheer them up when they feel depressed.
1. Help Them Stick To A Routine
Often times the reason our pups get sad or depressed is because of a major change in their circumstances. Those changes can be things like moving to a new area, losing a companion (human or dog), or maybe adjusting to their environment after adoption.
Giving them a specific routine can help them cope with all the new changes in their life. Knowing when they are going to eat or go out for a walk will help them understand what’s going on and help them adapt to their new environment.
Start walking and feeding them at the same time each day. Make sure you’re getting out the door on schedule. Develop a nighttime routine before bed. Sticking to a schedule may end up helping you make some life improvements, too!
2. Take Them Out For Some Exercise
Sometimes we all need a little breath of fresh air to relax the nerves. It’s way we can all find calm under anxiety or stress. This method is no different for your pups.
As long as there’s not underlying physical health problems, taking them outside for a walk or to the dog park can certainly help lift their depressed mood. And just like running can give you a “runner’s high,” so too can it help your dog if they’re feeling sad.
Your dog will get the added benefits of improved health that come with exercise, too, and you’ll get a nice workout while you bond.
3. Reward Positive Behavior
Though it’s tempting to try and comfort our pups by giving them treats to change their mood, it might reinforce their feelings by teaching them to associate negativity with rewards.
We want to make sure we don’t reward undesirable behaviors with treats. Try and get your pup to do healthy and fun activities, like going out for a walk or socializing with other dogs.
If you start to notice them in a better mood, that’s when it’s best to give them a treat or reward.
4. Let Them Socialize With Other Pets
Sometimes all our pups need is a little comfort from other pooches. Socializing with other dogs can be great. Dogs are certainly empathetic creatures, and they can sense when another is sad or depressed.
Sometimes they’ll try and get your dog to come run with them around the dog park or tug on a toy lying on the floor. It’s always good to let your dog spend time around others of their own kind, as most dogs are sociable pets who do not like being alone.
In fact, if your dog is happy around other animals, they may appreciate you considering adoption of another furry friend. Lots of dogs get depressed when they feel lonely, and a companion to play with while you’re not around might be perfect for them.
5. Spend Extra Time With Your Dog
No matter what’s going on that’s making your dog feel sad or depressed, the best antidote can sometimes be the simplest solution–spending some extra time with your pup.
As pet parents, we are with our dogs more than anyone or anything else in their lives, and they get most of their interaction and love from us. It’s something that they most certainly can feel emanating even through simple gestures like feeding them or taking them out for a walk.
So playing with them longer, walking with them longer, or even just sitting next to them while watching television might be more than enough to break their negative mood.
How do you cheer up your dog when they feel depressed? Is there anything that puts your dog in a good mood right away? Let us know in the comments below!